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vassing tends to delay the drift to destruction
and provides a foothold for a further counter-
offensive against the adversary.
In the companion predecessor to this book?
The Fate of Homo sapiens, I tried to drive home
the fact that our species has no more reason to
believe it can escape defeat and extinction, than
any other organism that plays or has played its
part in the drama of life. I tried to make clear
how precarious is our present situation, and how
urgent it is that we should make a strenuous
effort at adjustment now. Only a little while
ago it seemed as though that was an appeal to a
deaf and blind world, invincibly set in its habitual
ways even if they led plainly to destruction. I
went into the question whether this inclination
towards pessimism reflected a mood or phase in
myself5 and I threw out a qualifying suggestion
or so ; but for my own part I could not find any
serious reason to believe that the mental effort
that was clearly necessary if man was to escape
the fate that marched upon him would ever be
made. His conservative resistances? his apathy,
seemed incurable.
Now suddenly everywhere one meets with
alarmed and open and enquiring minds. So
far the tremendous dislocations of the present
war have been immensely beneficial in stripping